MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Monday is the deadline for hunters to register the deer they took during the opening weekend. And we’ll have to wait and see if this year’s numbers will exceed last year’s dismal harvest.
Some stations in heavily-hunted northeast Wisconsin have reported a big increase from 2009. Others reported about the same numbers. And a few report only a small fraction of what they’ve seen in the past.
Just over 100,000 animals were taken in last year’s opening weekend, down 25 percent from the previous year. And the final harvest for the nine-day gun season – 196,000 deer – was the lowest in 27 years.
The DNR has suspended its Earn-a-Buck requirement in all but southern Wisconsin, to try and raise the number of mother does. But those manning the registration stations were not sure if the move helped hunters.
Dylan Van Straten at the station in Shiocton said most hunters reported seeing more deer than a year ago. 310 animals were registered there on Saturday, 120 more than a year ago.
But Mike Levezow of Manawa said his station expected only a-third of their past harvests. He said the weather wasn’t the best, and many folks were still turned off by the DNR’s past management efforts. Levezow said a lot of people have given up hunting – and they hope they get back to it because it’s big part of the fall.